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FAQs about Anglerfish, Frogfish Compatibility

Related Articles: Anglerfishes

Related FAQs:  Anglers 1, Anglers 2, Angler ID, Angler Behavior, Angler Selection, Angler Systems, Angler Feeding, Angler Disease, Angler Reproduction,

Anglerfishes will gladly swallow most all other livestock that will fit in their massive mouths.

Most anything near its size... body, not just mouth
Oh, not with venomous (e.g. Lions) or spiny animals
Not with aggressive fishes (Triggers, large Puffers, Angels)
Not with large crustaceans (crabs, lobsters...)
May be inhaled
Will get poked, envenomized
May get chomped, eaten

Wartskin Angler pairs?    1/26/17
Hi Crew!
<Hey Adam>
Was reviewing your site and I could not find any info on Wartskin Angler pairs (Antennarius maculatus). Can they be kept without eating each other?
<Mmm; yes... given close-enough size parity and space in a system>
Would the need to be procured as a pair or is there a way to pair them up?
<Better by far if purchased as an established pair>
Or could two of the same sex be kept in the same system and if so how big would it need to be?
<At least a hundred twenty five gallons>
Thank you!
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Frogfish and batfish    5/24/12
I have a 2.5 inch Painted Frogfish and a similar sized Walking Batfish in a tank together, and although the LFS, and other sources, say they should be compatible, they have regular stand-offs (as far as I know ,all puffery, no actual contact).  Is this something I should worry about, or will they likely settle down?  They've been together only four days.
<I would separate these two post haste. Trouble. Bob Fenner>

Moray, angler compatibility/ tank limitations   4/1/12
Hello Crew,
<Hi Amber, Jordan here.>
My name is Amber. I recently lost my Snowflake Eel (Echidna nebulosa), after setting up a new 55 gallon tank for him. He was lost due to a stupid mistake on my part and I should have known better. Lesson learned.
I replaced him with a Black Angler (Antennarius commerson).
<Quite a bio-load for a 55.>

Though, soon after, I realized how much I missed having an eel. I can not seem to find something other than a Snowflake to fit into the tank.
<A 55 really limits your options but an Echidna catenata is another possibility. Peaceful enough that it should not attack the Angler and large enough to avoid being eaten.>
I was wondering if you had any ideas on what kind of Moray Eel will get along with the Angler, who is the only other inhabitant in the tank.
<The problem is that you have chosen an Angler which will get fairly large and able to eat most tank mates that are suitable for a 55. Other than Echidna catenata and Echidna nebulosa. most morays that will live out there life comfortably in a 55 will likely be eaten by the angler. If the Angler were to be removed I would recommend an Enchelycore carychoa or a pair of Gymnothorax melatremus.>
I have plenty of live rock and hiding places. Also, a 20 gallon sump, protein skimmer, and a very large filter.
<Consider adding a pvc network for cover.>
Any suggestions would be extremely helpful.
Thank You,
<Quite welcome>

Angler, comp.    8/10/11
Hello WetWeb Crew,
Your site has always proven to be a great source of information for the reefing and fish questions I have asked previously. Thanks for your wealth of information.
I'm in the planning stages for a yellow angler tank. Everything reads that anglers will eat anything that fits in their mouths.
<Generally so fish-wise>
I understand this. My question, is there anything in terms of cleanup crew that could be housed with an angler?
<Things/organisms can be tried...>
I'm thinking about an urchin? Maybe a starfish?
<These will/would likely be fine>
Also, I read online that some have kept dwarf fuzzy lions with anglers successfully.
Do you think a lion would be destined for angler food?
<Could be. I myself would not risk it/this>
Thanks for your help!
<Welcome! Bob Fenner>
Re: Angler and Cuke  9/30/11

Hi all,
The Cukes are Holothuria floridana. What do you think with an Antennarius pictus?
<Good choices IME>

Biocube 29. Seahorses or Angler? Sel./stkg.    5/18/11
Hello crew,
After much debate on whether to sell my 29G Biocube and "invest" the $$$ back into my 75G reef or to keep the 29 and set it back up, it appears setting it back up is the conclusion!
Since I already have a 75G mixed reef, I would like to do something "different" with this tank.
Obviously being only 29G, I realize my options are very limited. After hours of research when I should have been working, I believe I have decided to either set it up as a seahorse tank, or as an angler tank.
<Mmm, either group... just small/er species>
I will be setting this tank up essentially from the ground up, so I want to ensure I do this as safe and "risk free" as you can in the marine world. I plan to purchase all new live sand and ~30lbs of live rock and seed it with some rubble and sand in addition from my reef tank, and of course cycle it completely. So given the two choices, here are some questions that I have.
1. Given the choice between a seahorse tank with two Firefish, a clown goby, and a few corals....xenia, Zoas, maybe Shrooms...vs. the angler as a FOWLR or few soft corals, which do you consider the "easier"?
<Mmm, the Angler... though not nearly as exciting as the former...!>
2. Would a pair of H. erectus seahorses be the best/hardiest choice? If not what would you recommend?
<Tank bred would be fine here... though again, smaller tropical species also tank bred would be better, e.g. H. reidi>
3. What would be the best plant choice for the recommended horses to "anchor" to and keep given the Biocube PC lighting and size?
<Plastic really... or a gorgonian skeleton>
4. If I go the angler route, are there any other suitable tankmates?
<Mmm, yes. Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/anglercompfaqs.htm
again, depends on the species of Angler...>
I'd like to have one other "swimmer" but completely understand the size requirements and appetite for same size fish the angler has.
5. How long can anglers live in a tank this size (or any size) given good water conditions since seahorses are typically a few years at best?
<About the same likely>
Thanks in advance for you always honest and well respected opinions and help!
<A pleasure. Bob Fenner>
Re: Biocube 29. Seahorses or Angler?   5/18/11

Many thanks for the lightning fast reply. I have read, and actually just reread, the Angler compatibility FAQs. I'm still having trouble determining a suitable tankmate, though I did see that a snowflake eel can be suitable.
It's hard for me to envision a predator tank essentially and not consider lions, triggers, and puffers, as I realize they will outgrow this size.
<And too likely bite the Angler, starve it for food>
Sorry for the follow up questions, but once again I do respect and appreciate your advice!
1. A Snowflake would outgrow the 29 as well correct?
<In time, yes>
I have never raised an eel, and do find them interesting despite, though they are not the same, I hate snakes!
2. Given the confines of a 29 cube, do you have any recommendations for an Angler tankmate that would not be consumed?
It would most likely be a Wartskin, unless again you have a better recommendation.
Clayton Jones
<If you got the Wartskin at the usual 2-3" overall length typically available size... a Gramma or Pseudochromid of greater length would likely be fine here... B>

Striated Angler question, comp.  - 6/11/10
<Hello Brett>
Today I bought a white tail triggerfish. I have a 90 gallon tank with two damsels a snowflake moray eel and a striated angler.
<Please capitalise these names in future Brett
The triggerfish seems to have taken a piece off the top of the anglers head. I took the trigger out at the angler has only moved a little bit since I removed the trigger. Is there anything I can do to help my angler or just keep the water quality up.
<These fish are not compatible. Anglers should be kept in species tanks by themselves. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/anglerfishes.htm. You will have to remove one or the other>
Thanks Brett

angler fish tankmate   5/4/10
I have a longhorn cowfish that's only about 2 inches and I was looking at an Wartskin angler that's 3 inches I know it could swallow the cowfish but will it attempt this because of the special properties a cowfish has like its horns and the secretion of poison when stressed?
<Mmm, not a good risk as far as I'm concerned... both for the possible predatory and toxic issue you mention. Bob Fenner>

Frogfish sick? Stuck, stung  3/15/10
I have a 40 gallon tank with a frogfish, a Volitans lionfish,
<Ummm, this is too small a volume for a Pterois volitans... and it's stung your Antennariid>
sea star, snails, longspine urchin, and a lobster.
<Also misplaced>
The frogfish is only about four inches in length. I have 25 pounds of live rock and all the levels are good... no ammonia, ph is 8.2, no nitrite, the nitrates float from 20-40 at the most.
The tank has a protein skimmer and filter and everything. I just recently purchased the orange painted Frogfish from a local fish store. I bought him this past Wednesday 3/10, the fish store said he had been eating (3 damsels in a day and a half) so we brought him home and he ate a frozen eel on Thursday. He seems to be healthy and swims around a lot. But since Thursday he hasn't eaten. I bought him ghost shrimp but he didn't go for any, there were even some crawling on him but he never ate any. He also won't eat anymore frozen eels. I'm not quite sure why he isn't eating, but I noticed a black spot that popped up on his right arm/fin that wasn't there when we bought him and I wonder if maybe this has something to do with him not eating. It doesn't look like the other black spots on his body, this is
much darker, almost looks like mold. Is this anything you've heard of?
<Yes... poked by the Lion>
There is also white crusty looking stuff by his tail/back. It has been there since we first saw him but it is getting bigger. I think it might just be camouflage but I'm not sure. I attached the pictures. Thanks
<I'd return this Frogfish, and/or get rid of the Lion, pronto. Bob Fenner>

Re: Frogfish sick? 3/15/10
We are getting rid of the Lion Fish today. I also read on the website that the urchin we have isn't good with Frogfish so we are also getting rid of that and replacing it with a Tuxedo Urchin, is that okay?
<Still too spiky really>
So will my Frogfish make a full recovery?
<These are very tough animals... I give you good odds here. IF the animal had been sufficiently venomized, it would have been dead w/in minutes to a few hours. BobF>
Re: Frogfish sick?
Thank you for your help. My boyfriend was sad to see his Lionfish go. Is there any fish that is compatible with the Frogfish and compatible with our tank size?
<Mmm, not likely in the long/er run. Please read here:
and the linked files above as well. BobF>
Re: Frogfish sick?
Would a dwarf Lionfish possibly be compatible with the frogfish?
<No. B>

Painted Frogfish and Carpet Anemone, incomp.   11/20/09
Hi. Great site.
I have a 4 inch painted frogfish in a 180 gals tank I have at home and wanted to put him in a 45 gallon tank I have in my office where I have a Haddon's carpet anemone.
<I wouldn't do this>
The fish is so interesting I figure it's a shame to keep him at home when I spend most of my day in the office.
Mistake putting the two together in a 45 gal tank?
<With a carpet anemone, yes. Too likely to end up being consumed by it>
Thanks in advance for your help.
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: Painted Frogfish and Carpet Anemone  11/20/09

You have got to give me a call if you get to Jerusalem.
Dinner and/or scotch, your choice....
Mark Sherman
<Thank you my friend. BobF>

Frightened Antennarius Striatus 11/20/09
Hi Crew,
<Hello Jason and Sarah>
Saturday night I learned my local LFS had received a Fu Manchu Lionfish.
I've been wanting to get one of these so me and the wife stopped by to have a look. While there my wife fell in love with a Striped Angler, and I'd have to admit she was pretty cute (guessing she since she doesn't have a lot of tufts or camouflage,
<Your wife or the angler?>
but she might just be a juvenile). Well I added her that night to my 55 gallon tank which is currently home to a Ghost Eel (Pseudechidna brummeri) as well as a Lunare Wrasse who got banned from my 225 tank for poor behavior. I realize this tank isn't a good home for him, but I'm keeping him here until I finder a better place,
and I've been keeping an eye out for any picking by the wrasse, and so far everyone is getting along well.
The first night while giving a silverside to the wrasse and eel (I have to give one to the wrasse or he makes feeding the eel nearly impossible) the angler showed a lot of interest so my wife gave him a half a silverside and she ate it. I was so excited because she was already taking frozen foods from a stick.
<Sounds good.>
Then last night (we always feed on Saturday and Wednesdays on our predators) we were trying to feed her a piece of krill, and I made a dreadful mistake. She turned her back on my wife, and I had a piece of krill that was for the eel, but since she came my way I put it somewhat near her in case she wanted it. Apparently this made her feel trapped and she completely freaked out and tried to bury herself in the sand face first. I'm now extremely worried as I know I triggered her fight or flight response, and I know that the energy she expanded could kill her. This morning she was breathing a bit heavy and was stuck to the filter intake. I turned it off and there was no physical damage, but I'm severely worried she's dying. Is there anything I can do at this point that would help her chances at survival?
Thanks in advance for any advice you can give.
<Mmm, just keep up the water quality and observe. I'd get the wrasse out of there, can be very intimidating to the angler. If the angler is small enough to fit into the eels mouth, I'd find a home for him also. Anglers are best kept by themselves. Do read here and related articles/FAQ's shown in the header.
<Cheers. James (Salty Dog)>
Jason and Sarah
Re Frightened Antennarius Striatus 11/21/09

Thanks for the response James.
<You're welcome.>
Sadly we lost her last night.
<Sorry to hear.>
I did remove the Wrasse last night, and have given him away to a more suitable home, and believe you are right about the angler being intimidated by him. Although there was no physical nipping the wrasse was constantly swimming by the angler, and kept her in an agitated state.
<Yes, and is one of the reasons anglers are best kept in a specie tank.>
I had seen something before hand that anglerfish were best kept by themselves, but thought it had to do with their propensity to eat their tank mates.
<If the fish can fit in the angler's mouth, they are on the menu.>
I considered moving the Wrasse before hand, but thought the angler could hold her own, and now I wish I had. Anyway, thanks again for the advice James, and at least next time I'll know better.
<Is why one should research beforehand. James (Salty Dog)>

Spotfin Frogfish, A. nummifer, comp., sys.   7/12/09
Hi Crew.
I just picked up what I am fairly certain is a Spotfin frogfish in trade for some coral last night. I was tentatively planning on a species-only tank in my office at work, and I likely will still go that route, but I was reading on the angler compatibility FAQ, and I found what seems to be a lot of directly contradictory advice. I was hoping you could clarify for me.
<Will try>
As for tank size, one of the responses (in the compatibility FAQ) recommends a minimum size of 75G for an A. commerson, which of course gets bigger than A. nummifer, but I also think I remembered a similar recommendation for A. pictus, which I believe grows to about the same size.
Yet in another response in the same FAQ, I read:
<begin quote>
Okay, back to the angler. I am running another overflow from the refugium into a 10 gallon tank which will house the maculatus. This tank will drain to the sump. It currently has about 20 lbs of live rock and a 3" fine aragonite bed. So here are my questions:
1) I chose a 10g tank as it would be easier to feed and view this small angler. With the ability to transfer to larger quarters in the future, are there ethical issues of housing this fish (alone) in a tank so small?
<Actually, no! I was fortunate enough to spend part of last weekend with author Scott Michael, who is an absolute Frogfish fanatic! He says that a small tank is actually a better way to go for these fish, for a few reasons. First, it keeps them near their food! Also, they are just not particularly active fish, as you are aware. Finally, they tend to get "lost" in a larger tank, where they will blend in with the surrounding decor. He told me that he even keeps one on his desk in a small Eclipse aquarium!>
<end quote>
I realize that the 10G of which the writer was speaking was plumbed to a much larger system, but it doesn't sound like Eclipse on a desktop was!
I own a 20G high with an eclipse hood, but figured that was too small. I was planning on a 42G hex for a species tank. I _could_ also plumb a smaller 10/15/20G tank in my living room into my 150G fish only with a 30G sump. Thoughts?
<Can work>
Then, regarding compatibility, several of the responses basically rule out keeping a frogfish with anything else, i.e.:
I have just a quick compatibility question. I'm planning a big rough n' tumble system and I'm thinking right now I'd like a porcupine puffer, Sohal tang, a trigger and a frogfish.
<These fish are not recommended as tankmates for Frogfish.
Yet in another response, Bob writes:
<< In a large enough system... but do keep your eyes on (and feed minimally)
the Sargassum Fish (Histrio)... as they can/do grow quickly given enough food/feeding... and can swallow fishes near their own size (the Flame will go first). >>
Welcome back Bob, I hope your trip was great.
<Yes my friend, thank you>
I am going to be keeping him in a 50 g tank with just the Huma Trigger and The Red Volitans. I am ordering a small one from Flying Fish express I think that means 1"-3".
The Huma I
plan to put in there is about 3"-4" and the lion is about 5 or 6 maybe larger. Would they be ok until June?
<I give you very good odds. Bob Fenner>
I thought lions were a particularly bad idea with frogfish. Is this difference specific to H. histrio?
<Mmm, no>
For my specific case, I was considering the possibility of adding my A. nummifer to my 150G fish only, which currently houses an 8" Foxface, a 7" male Bluejaw trigger, a 6" Koran angel, a 5" Morpho, and a 2.5" damsel, which I would probably move elsewhere. I know someone is going to tell me my tank is already too crowded with 5 whole fish in it, but I am running a 30G sump and a massive protein skimmer, and everyone does just fine. But would the frogfish be okay in there? He's currently about 2.5", but would obviously grow.
<Will likely do fine... there is some small chance the trigger may bite it... and make it hard to feed here.... but...>
Thanks in advance for clearing up my confusion.
<Welcome. BobF>
Re: Spotfin Frogfish, A. nummifer  7/12/09

Thanks, Bob. One further question: in your opinion would a 42 hex be adequate for a species tank?
<For this species of Antennariid, yes... in fact, can be quite spectacular!
Look to arranging the rockwork to provide a prominent "lookout" ledge some short distance from the bottom... Bob Fenner>

Frogfish/Lionfish Compatibility -- 4/30/09
Hello, and thank you in advance to whoever may be answering my question today. After searching the site for hours, I decided to ask my first question. I have decided to set up a species tank for a Lionfish, to be determined as tank size allows. The tank I would prefer would be a 46 gallon bowfront. And the fish I would prefer would be a Zebra lionfish (real preference was a Radiata, but I fear a 46 gal would be too small in the long run). So the real question is; could this lionfish be housed with a Painted Frogfish (Antennarius pictus) in the same 46 gal? Maybe a warty frogfish? My girlfriend loves the frogfish and asked if this was possible.
<I would not recommend this particular combination. If your fears of the frogfish attacking the lionfish are realized it won't work out well for either fish.>
 If yes, in which order do they need to be added to ensure one does not eat the other. I was under the impression that they grow at a similar pace and I would want the frogfish to be slightly smaller than the lion at all times. I am aware that the Lion could possibly sting the frogfish, but it seems more likely that a similarly sized frogfish would devour the lion. Thank you for your time and any answers you may be able to give. It is much appreciated.
<The ultimate problem here, besides potential compatibility issues here, is the tremendous bio load that each of these animals exert, a 46 gallon tank is going to be hard-pressed to handle the waste these two produce. I suggest you consider much larger tanks, or only one of these fish.>
<Good Luck
Josh Solomon>

Leaf Scorpionfish (Frogfish comp. f')1/3/09 hi, first of all congrats on a great website, i find it very useful and easy to use. I have a compatibility question concerning the leaf Scorpionfish. I have a warty frogfish in my reef tank at the moment plus the usual clean up crew. <Mmm, this fish may eat some of the CUC> He`s about 3" and feeding well on both live and frozen. I wanted to put a fuzzy dwarf lionfish in with him and was advised by my LFS that this would be fine as they regularly house them together. <Mmm... not a good idea> Within 3 days the frogfish had the fuzzy dwarf in his mouth (the fuzzy dwarf was the same size if not bigger than the angler). fortunately both survived and the fuzzy is back with my LFS. <Ahh, good... lucky> I would like one more fish for this tank and have been told that a leaf Scorpionfish of the same size as the angler would be ok. <Mmm, no... same problem> am having trouble finding anyone who has kept these fish together and any advice you could give would be much appreciated. water quality is 25.5C 1.025sg ammonia, nitrite and nitrate all 0 with plenty of live rock. Many thanks and keep up the good work. matt <Thank you Matt. Unfortunately Frogfishes have the overall tendency to inhale their tankmates... as you know... of near the same size (or smaller)... and can grow surprisingly quickly at times. Bob Fenner>

Frogfish and cleaning crew (comp.)  11/19/08
Hello there. I am looking at acquiring a warty or painted frogfish for my 30 gallon aquarium. Currently the only residents are about 40 lbs of live rock and some hermit crabs. The tank has been up and running for probably two years with an assortment of fish, all of which were given away in time due to there becoming to large. I'm a lover of triggers and small ones get me every time!
<Um, ok... but if you plan to get a frogfish, please let this be a species tank. Frogfish will not do well with juvenile triggers (or most any other fish) in a 30g tank.>
I would however like to have a fish that I don't need to worry about outgrowing my tank.
<Yes, a smaller species of frogfish would likely be a good choice for this.>
The frogfish would be the centerpiece of course, but I'm thinking of adding a serpent star or sandsifting star to help with some of the detritus.
<Don't get a sandsifting starfish. A serpent star would be ok.>
I've read too much on your site about Brittlestars eating fish to put one in with such a sedentary creature. Would the star plus the hermits I already have and some assorted snails, be too much for the tank?
<It will be ok, if you stick to your plan of having a frogfish species tank. And If you have the discipline not to buy any more triggers or other fish inappropriate for your tank...>
I have an AMiracle hang on back filter with a skimmer that is rated for a 55 gallon tank, however I am contemplating removing the bioballs
<Good idea>
and just putting some more live rock in the filter.
<That or, maybe add some activated carbon filtration...>
Also, I'm looking a purchasing an AquaC remora skimmer because I have heard from other people that the AMiracle skimmers aren't so great.
<The remoras are great skimmers!>
So I would have two protein skimmers at work, is this too much?
<Not too much... but you probably won't need both.>
Would that take away too much "food" for the hermits, star, and snails?
<The skimmers won't cause this. However, having only the frogfish, which you should probably try to feed live food, you have to wonder... what are the crabs going to eat? You might want to add a small amount of food for them if it looks like they're not getting anything to eat.>
Sorry for all the questions, I have been doing a lot of reading on your site but couldn't find anything about the compatibility of all these creatures other than the predacious brittle stars. Thanks for all the help, I love your site.
<De nada and good luck,
Sara M.>

Re: Frogfish and cleaning crew 11/20/08

Thank you for your quick response. I am very excited to hear that all these creatures should work together.
<I do think you have a good plan. I wish more people would set up species tanks (catering to one fish, or type of fish). And frogfish are my personal favorite. They are great fun. Do read as much as you can about them. They are fascinating fish.>
And, don't worry about me getting any more triggers,
<Hehe... good to hear. :-)>
as much as they are my favorite fish, as well as lions, they are just too big for the small tank I have. I guess I will have to hurry and get that new protein skimmer I mentioned, because as of last night I noticed lots of orange/grey bristle worms and according to the FAQS they do well in tanks with higher nutrient levels since at there small size of maybe 1/3 inch they feed on detritus.
<Well, wait... this is not that simple. A tank with a lot of detritus will have more bristle worms. That's true. And usually a tank with more detritus will have higher nutrients. *however*... if you plan to have a substantial population of hermits and snails, etc., you might want, or even need, that detritus. A better "test" of excess nutrients is Cyano (and other nuisance) algae growth. In any case, you can't go wrong getting a Remora skimmer. There's really no down side to it.>
Thanks again for all your help and let me know if there is something else I should do about these worms or just let the problem solve itself with the added skimmer.
<I wouldn't worry about them. I'd enjoy them even. Be patient in picking out your frogfish though. They're not always in the best of shape when they get into the LFSs. I'd definitely do some research on where/how the best way to acquire one might be.
Sara M.>

Commerson Angler compatibility   9/19/08 Hi WWM Crew- <Matt> I recently (2 days ago) picked up a ~5.5" orange frogfish at my LFS. I tentatively identified it as a Commerson Angler based on info from WWM (fin ray count), and I put her in my 72 gallon bow-front, which at that time was home to 3 green Chromis, 3 Blue Devil Damsels, a Blue Velvet Damsel, and a Yellow Tang. <Oh oh... eating items all possibly> As you might expect, that number has been reduced by 2 Chromis and 2 Blue Devil Damsels over the last 2 days. I am not planning on keeping the Yellow Tang for long (it came as part of a free tank) and don't care about the damsels (also free), but I am curious as to what kind of fish the angler could be kept with. <Mmm, largish (bigger than it), smart, fast... and not too likely to bully the Angler. Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/anglercompfaqs.htm and why not? The files linked above> My current plan is to house it with some sort of moray (probably a Zebra) and a few Chromis and Damsels that I will replace as needed. Prior to the introduction of the eel, though, I do have another question: Would the angler be compatible with a Shell-Breaking Hermit Crab (*Dardanus megistos*)? <Mmm, not a good choice... too likely the Hermit will do more than "pick" on the Antennariiform> I also recently put about 80+ lbs. of live rock in the tank, and the rock has the beginnings of an Aiptasia infestation. There are at least 7 polyps of it in the tank, including 2 very large ones. I already have the crab (got him a few weeks ago without knowing what it was, then decided I still wanted it), but it is currently in the sump in order to avoid potential conflict with my angler. Your website says that this crab is an avid Aiptasia eater, which would be great - I just don't want to have the frogfish eat him or have him harass the frogfish, as these crabs are known predators on fish. I know he will need to go before the eel goes in, but would he be compatible with the angler? <Better to switch them for a while... the Lophiiform in the sump, the Anomuran doing pest Actinarian duty... Bob Fenner> Thanks, -M.H.

Frogfish compatibility  9/15/08 Hello crew, just have a quick question for you this morning. I currently have a 3" fuzzy dwarf lion and am trying to think of a compatible tankmate or two for him. In my search I have come across a clown frogfish at my LFS. He is a little smaller than my lion and I was just wondering if they are compatible or not. If not, can you suggest anything that you have kept with fuzzy lions that work well? <Mmm, I wouldn't try these two together myself... too likely the Frog may be poked... they might try to eat each other (really)... Please read here re other poss.: http://wetwebmedia.com/dwflioncompfaqs.htm> Thank you all so much for your time and infinite wisdom ;) Shea <Umm, welcome, but no. Bob Fenner>

Angler Eats Goby? 4/1/08 Hello Crew, how is everyone? <Doing well, thank you.> I bought an Angler fish, a Spotted Grouper, and a large Mandarin goby almost a week ago to put in my 125 gallon tank. There are also 3 damsels, and a Coral Banded shrimp in the tank. <Not for long.> I know that Anglers will eat many things that I have in the tank, but the Mandarin was about as big as they get. As long as the Angler, and fairly big around. The last time I saw the Goby was the first day, in the same corner as the Angler, and the Angler sat in the same spot for the first four days. Do you think he ate the Goby? <The Angler very well may have eaten him, regardless of size. Anglers can swallow fish nearly the same size as themselves. Mandarins are rumored to be somewhat non appetizing to predators, but do get eaten. They can also hide in rockwork and can go days without being seen in a tank the size of yours.> Thanks for your time. Amanda <Welcome, I have included a link for more information on your Angler below, Scott V.> http://www.wetwebmedia.com/anglercompfaqs.htm

Ambon Scorpionfish... Angler comp.    1/3/08 Morning crew! Just a quick question. Do you think that a 2 1/2" Antennarius pictus (Painted Angler) would eat or attempt to eat a 2" Pteroidichthys amboinensis (Ambon Scorpionfish)? <Mmm, yes... have had Antennariids grab hold of my finger/s... think food/motion of such is almost or really an autonomic reaction... Like me and pizza> Also in the tank are a 4" Gold Stripe Maroon Clown and 3" one-eyed Dendrochirus brachypterus (Fuzzy Dwarf Lionfish). I wanted to get another opinion before trying to add a fish smaller than the angler. The only reason I believe the angler would not eat the scorpion is because of just that, it's a Scorpionfish. All fish including the Scorpionfish are eating frozen foods if that changes anything. Thank you for the wonderful site! Brandon <I'd get the Ambon up to a bit more size... like at least the same length... before introducing these together. Bob Fenner>

Frogfish tank, Harlequin comp. mostly   6/20/07 Dear Wet Web Media <Part of it> After following your advice in regards to upgrading a frogfish tank, I have selected some candidates, however i have a question about one. I would like to stock a 450 litre tank with a Calloplesiops altivelis, my Antennarius hispidus and the other fish i would like to stock is Lienardella fasciata the Harlequin Tusk. I intend to have a stack of live rock on the left hand side of the tank with coral such as Sinularia, Ricordea, Goniopora, <... needs to be "on the bottom", and this genus is not easily kept... all polyps need to be fed... I'd be reading re> xenia and have the right hand side just sand with a open brain and Fungia plate corals on the substrate. My question is would the tusk given this large amount of space still knock over the corals stacked on the other side of the tank. <Mmm, not likely if these were placed securely> I have read many contradicting articles on reef suitability in regards to knocking things but as my tank would be fairly open would this be such an issue. <Mmm, no... but will need more room in time> The other question is that i feed my frogfish sprats or silversides with an acrylic feeding pole, Is the Harlequin likely to steel the fish on the pole before i can feed the frogfish, again reading many confusing articles describing the harlequin as shy compared to most of the wrasses and selective in feeding ranging to greedy. <This is a possibility... but likely of small concern... you can/should feed the Tusk first...> Best Regards and thanks fo the help Ben <And to you, Bob Fenner>

Frogfish expansion plan, comp. mostly    6/16/07 Dear Wet Web Media <Crazed Sculptor...> I set up a 120tr tank a while ago for an Antennarius hispidus and after keeping him successfully for a couple of months now I would like to add him into a 300 ltr tank. My main question is could i mix him with either other frogfish in this size of tank and also are they compatible with Calloplesiops altivelis the Marine Betta. <Mmm, one chief concern will be finding the current Frogfish, getting food to it in the larger system... And Frogfishes will assuredly inhale one or t'other depending on size if hungry at all... including the Plesiopsid if it's small enough to fit in their mouth/s... The short answer is that I would not > I would like to create a tank of specialized feeders with the only inverts being hermits and Turbos and my corals, another option i was looking at is the snowflake eel. Do you have any other suggestions that might be compatible with the slow eating habits of the fish i am interested in. <Mmm, many... but this is really all posted/archived on WWM... Please learn to/use the indices, search tool there. Bob Fenner>

Commerson Frogfish Tankmates  3/3/07 <Hi, Pufferpunk here> I am considering setting up a system for a Commerson frogfish.   <Cool fish!  I am crazy about my Wartskin frogfish!> I successfully kept a Sargassum frogfish for a good while (until my apartment lost power while I was out of town on a cold weekend), so I think I have a pretty good handle on the basics of caring for these guys.  However, I am not sure about the tank size that this larger species will require.  I saw another post on your site that said a 29 gallon tank was too small for a 5 1/2" Commerson but what size tank would be required to make sure that it will still be comfortable if it reaches 10" or so? <Since these fish can actually reach 14", for proper housing, a tank for 75 gallons is recommended.>   I'm also curious about compatible tankmates.  The only relatively safe options I could think of would be larger tangs and lions.  Would these be suitable or would they even be on the menu once the frog reached full size?   <They're capable of opening their mouths up to 12 times the normal size in under 10 milliseconds and literally suck in anything unfortunate enough to swim past. At full size they will eat primarily small fish and invertebrates, so your choice of tank mates may work, as large as they are large specimens.  Otherwise, they usually won't bother much anything that they can't eat.  Anglers have been known to be stung by lionfish.> Thanks for your help. <Please be aware that specimens often succumb to a strange infection, which may be caused by a bacteria or a fungus. After being held in captivity for a while, large boil-like sores often appear all over their bodies and soon after their appearance, the frogfish dies.  So avoid drastic changes in pH, salinity, etc, which will weaken the fish's immune system.  ~PP>

Frogfish/Snowflake Eel  1/2/07 Greetings to the WWM crew! <Hi Gretchen, Pufferpunk here.> I've a small problem, I think I've fallen in love with a frog fish! <Certainly can't blame you on that one!  I'm crazy about these weird, wonderfully camouflaged, lumbering, creatures myself.>   I saw 2 at my LFS a few days ago and have been searching the Wet Web site as well as the web in general, for information since. (Thanks for all the information on the species on your site!)  What I'm curious about is if I could keep one in with my snowflake eel, and if so which would be the "best" suited for such a pairing? The eel (Ichi) currently is in a 125 gal tank with plenty of rock and tubes for him to hide in. He's about 18 inches long, shares his tank with a few hermit crabs and snails and seems to be very docile almost shy. He used to share his tank with a Burrfish and they got along fine! (Burrfish died of parasites over a year ago. We were heartbroken, and this is the first thing I've seen that I might like to add into the tank.) <I think this is the best tank mate for a frogfish.  Their teeth are flat, like a person's (for eating crustaceans), not sharp (for tearing into flesh), like other morays.  Been doing a lot of research myself, since I bought a Wartfin frogfish last week, with my X-mas $$$.  I really wanted to get a snowflake eel & a Fu Manchu lionfish but after researching the FAQs at WWM, I saw several Qs where it ended badly, with the frogfish getting stung by the lion.  I certainly don't want that to happen to my little guy!> One of the things I keep seeing is that frogfish are difficult to get adjusted to non-live foods. Ichi gets fed frozen/thawed/soaked in vitamins krill, squid, shrimp, clams and the occasional live crab or ghost shrimp. Is a frogfish likely to get picky about the mix of live and non-live food? (I recall reading something about that happening on another site.) <Exactly my problem now.  I have had the frogfish for a week.  I've been bouncing foods off a thread & hooked it on the tank, so it moves with the current & she won't bite.  I do see her "fishing" upside down in the live rock & I know there are live creatures in there to keep her fed but eventually, that will run out.  I am getting concerned & will probably get some ghost shrimp & gut-load them with foods & feed them to her for some sustenance.  I hear they are supposed to have voracious appetites & hope she takes "dead" foods soon.> I'm trying to find out as much as I can first, and know better than to hurry into any kind of purchase! <You may want to ask to see it eat at the store, to be sure it eats dead foods.  I took their word for it when I asked, because she had supposedly been fed that day.> Thanks, in advance for any information/suggestions you may have! Happy New Year! <Happy New Year to you too & good luck with your frogfish!  ~PP> Gretchen

Frogfish Fun Hi all!, <Hi there! Scott F. at your service!> I have a small (1") Antennarius maculatus coming out of quarantine in two weeks. <What a great fish! GREAT procedure, quarantining the fish!> It has been tolerating fw dips and eaten a few guppies and at least one live Mysis. I currently have a 180g display tank, upstream 100g refugium planted with Ulva and Halimeda (I have yet to find a source of Thalassia in Tokyo) and a 20 gal sump w/ skimmer, ozone and carbon. Two 1500 gph pumps return sump water to display (5 ft or so), and an Eheim 1060 sending water from sump to refugium and it's overflow to display. All three tanks have a 3-4" sugar sized, aragonite substrate. This system has been up for 3 months and the display currently houses live rock (about 150 lbs), a few tiny Acropora frags, and a bunch of macro-detritivores; needless to say, it looks a little barren but I am proceeding slowly. < Nothing wrong with going slowly. Sounds like a wonderful, well-thought-out system! BTW, Thalassia requires a deep sand bed (5-6 inches or more) to do well in...> Okay, back to the angler. I am running another overflow from the refugium into a 10 gallon tank which will house the maculatus. This tank will drain to the sump. It currently has about 20 lbs of live rock and a 3" fine aragonite bed. So here are my questions: 1) I chose a 10g tank as it would be easier to feed and view this small angler. With the ability to transfer to larger quarters in the future, are there ethical issues of housing this fish (alone) in a tank so small? <Actually, no! I was fortunate enough to spend part of last weekend with author Scott Michael, who is an absolute Frogfish fanatic! He says that a small tank is actually a better way to go for these fish, for a few reasons. First, it keeps them near their food! Also, they are just not particularly active fish, as you are aware. Finally, they tend to get "lost" in a larger tank, where they will blend in with the surrounding decor. He told me that he even keeps one on his desk in a small Eclipse aquarium!> 2) Are there benefits to include the refugium in this chain or would I be better off with return water directly from the sump? My refugium generates a quantity of Gammarus and small copepods. I still have to buy live Mysis. The little fellow seems to show little interest in 'pods. <They usually don't but I certainly see no harm in him seeing some 'pods float in now and then!> 3) Can I stock this nanotank with mushrooms and polyps? Xmas tree worm rock? Are there issues with nematocysts stinging the 'feet' of my fish? <Should not be a problem, but be aware that some of the larger, "Elephant Ear" mushrooms (Amplexidiscus species) can and do actually ingest fish!> Any allelopathic issues with the Acros and mushrooms/polyps because they share water space (although not tank space)? <Should not be a problem, for the most part> 4) Are there any glaring issues that I may have over looked? <Just try to give your Antennarius a varied diet and good water quality...He should be fine.> Thank you much in advance. I read the FAQs daily and have set up my system according to your recommended methodologies, equipments, and ethics. <So many good ways to accomplish the same thing, aren't there?> The service you provide has improved the quality of life for both keeper and kept. Regards, Bryan Gim <Thank you much for the kind words, Bryan. I'm so proud to be a part of this crew, and always am thrilled to talk to my fellow hobbyists! I learn something every day! Good luck!  Scott F.>

Sargassum fish Could I put a Sargassum fish with a lionfish, Huma Trigger, Imperator angel, and flame angel? <In a large enough system... but do keep your eyes on (and feed minimally) the Sargassum Fish (Histrio)... as they can/do grow quickly given enough food/feeding... and can swallow fishes near their own size (the Flame will go first). Bob Fenner>
Re: Sargassum fish
<< In a large enough system... but do keep your eyes on (and feed minimally) the Sargassum Fish (Histrio)... as they can/do grow quickly given enough food/feeding... and can swallow fishes near their own size (the Flame will go first). >> Welcome back Bob, I hope your trip was great.  <Yes my friend, thank you> I am going to be keeping him in a 50 g tank with just the Huma Trigger and The Red Volitans. I am ordering a small one from Flying Fish express I think that means 1"-3". <Likely> The Huma I plan to put in there is about 3"-4" and the lion is about 5 or 6 maybe larger. Would they be ok until June? <I give you very good odds. Bob Fenner>

Diff. of opinion on the family of Anglers I would also disagree with the advice you gave a previous aquarist about these fish... <Which advice would this be?> To quote the maestro (from the angler FAQ): Could I put a Sargassum fish with a lionfish, Huma Trigger, Imperator angel, and flame angel? <In a large enough system... but do keep your eyes on (and feed minimally) the Sargassum Fish (Histrio)... as they can/do grow quickly given enough food/feeding... and can swallow fishes near their own size (the Flame will go first). Bob Fenner> <Mmm, well I do still have this opinion for THE Sargassumfish, Histrio... but do agree with you re other Antennariids. Bob F> Regards, Michael Krechmer

Anglers... not together Hi I was wondering if you can keep anglerfish that are the same type together. If not, then can you keep anglers that are different types together? <Best to keep any, all species, of Anglerfishes one to a system... they can/do eat each other... of the same or different species> Thanks! Are anglers easy to breed? If so what are there breeding habits, etc. Thanks! <Unknown. Bob Fenner>

Re: Itty Bitty Angler Greetings yet again, <Howdy> Last stocking question for awhile.  I want to thank Bob for such a quick response to my last question, and Bob - the parrotfish on my list was meant strictly as a joke. ;) <I understood/stand> I was at a LFS at lunchtime, and they had the ugliest little critter I've seen.  I love him.  They list it as a 'Red Anglerfish'.  It's bright red (almost red-orange), round little sucker, about the size of a ping-pong ball.  The LFS said he would not get bigger than a golf ball, <... am dubious re this last piece of information. Do they know the animal's scientific name? Most Anglers get quite a bit larger... and quickly! Depending on whose around to inhale> and that he had occupied the LFS tank for a couple of months.  I immediately tried to find any information I could about this fish, but to no avail.  I currently have a 30g FOWLR, with no fish inhabitants (just two peppermint shrimp, two Turbos and two Nassarius snails), and I am getting close to stocking my first charge.  If you know anything about this fish, could this be a choice that works? <Please take a look here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/anglerfishes.htm re the anglers> If I got a clown as I originally intended, I assume I would have to get a larger one  ;)  Sure, my wife will think it's ugly, but she'll get over it (she married me, didn't she?) <It will be eaten by this Angler if they're anywhere near the same size> I apologize for inundating you with stupid questions - I only try to ask questions that remain unanswered after other research, and, of course, because you've saved me a lot of grief and money to date.  Thank you again. <No worries. Bob Fenner> JPM

Frogfish Question Dear Crew: <Hi there> Have a new giant frogfish and would like to add a few clean up critters to his tank:)  Would turbo snails be okay?  Don't want to add anything that could be a potential meal....... Thanks:)  Janey <Well, no absolute guarantees... but snails are about the least likely to be sucked up! Bob Fenner>
Re: Frogfish Question
Would it hurt the frogfish if he ate a snail or would it pass through okay? Thanks for the quick reply, Bob:)  Jane <This too would very likely pass (hee hee!). Bob Fenner>

Compatibility Frogfish with Trigger, Tang and Puffer 5/4/04 Bob! <Hi Leslie on duty for Bob today> I have just a quick compatibility question.  I'm planning a big rough n' tumble system and I'm thinking right now I'd like a porcupine puffer, Sohal tang, a trigger and a frogfish. <These fish are not recommended as tankmates for Frogfish. What sort of problems would you foresee? Nibbling sorts of problems and all the problems associated with being picked at like stress and disease.  Scott Michael is quite the Frogfish aficionado and has written several articles which I just finished reading because I am currently planning my own Frogfish habitat . These fish are masters of camouflage. They do not have sharp spines, noxious body slime, glands containing venom, speed or any other protective mechanisms. Some change color and others have skin appendages that resemble algae. If they are contained in an environment with filamentous algae these appendages increase in size and number. Any nippers or fish that will feed on sessile inverts or algae could easily mistake your precious frogfish for a snack. He recommends avoiding the following tankmates butterfly, angelfish, puffers, surgeonfish, triggerfish and porcupine and mentions that tankmates should be 1.5 times the length of the Frogfish or they will likely end up as dinner.> It seems like a lot would depend on the temperament of the trigger, <Definitely.> and the biggest potential problem would be the trigger ripping up the frogfish... <YIKES!  Certainly a possibility. Frogfish are one of my favorite fish.....Not a pretty image at all. Just the thought of that is quite upsetting. > I was hoping if was patient and worked at picking out a more "peaceful" trigger I might be able to make it work. I'm open to any species trigger, or any species frogfish if I could make something like that work. < I would not risk it. Have a look at some of these articles and FAQs..... http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/triggers/index.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/triggers2.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/triggercompfaqs.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/anglerfishes.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/anglerfaqs.htm and the Frogfish Files on ReefCentral http://reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=266993&highlight=frogfish+files Your thoughts? If you are open to suggestions perhaps you might want to rethink your tank. Keeping a Frogfish will limit your options in that big rough n'tumble system of bad boys. Consider a Warty Frogfish A. maculatus in a small species tank on your desk or perhaps plumed to your bigger tank. There is a great article in the April/May 2004 issue of Coral Magazine  http://www.coralmagazine.com by none other than Scott Michael. He actually recommends small tanks of 5 to 10 gallons for these fish for a few reasons.....  they are not particularly active fish, their food is easily accessible and they tend to get "lost" in a larger tanks, where they blend into the surrounding decor. > Scott <Hope this Helps, Leslie>

Commerson angler compatibility 10/23/04 Hi guys!! <howdy> I have 150 gallons tank with a 7 inch Volitans lionfish, a 5 inch panther grouper, a 5 inch emperor angelfish, and a 4 inch yellow tang. <the tang is overstocked for the long haul. Please know/believe this. If you have any doubts, go to fishbase.org and plug in the names of those fishes and see their cumulative adult sizes. Then consider if the potential 48" or so of fish in a 72" tank seems realistic/humane in the long term. Also know that these fishes, true indeed as you might hope/argue, will not actually grow that large because they will stunt developmentally and die prematurely for that very same reason. The sad thing is that some will actually live 5+years and seem "OK" with the crowding and let us forget that they did/will not make it to the 20-30 year potential (a couple of these fishes are on record over 30 years old at Nancy Aq. France)> I want to get the Commerson angler at my LFS that is 5 inches, Do you guys see any problems here? <aside from the stocking density... it is completely incompatible because of feeding habits. It will never compete with the active fishes for (live) food. That's assuming the angel does pick its flesh/eyes away (no kidding here). Ahhh... bad mix> Thanks, Derik <take this to heart, mate. And please do look at FishBase before/if you contest the assertion. Anthony>

Commerson angler compatibility II 10/23/04 Ok please do tell me your point of view of my opinion. The Commerson is indeed a bad choice, I will take your advice for sure. <ah, good my friend. They really are neat fishes... but because of their slow deliberate feeding and need for live food, they really need a species tank> The way I see it is that the panther is always hiding until its food time, The lionfish stays in corners and once in while does a little sprint in the open water, My angel and yellow tang does roam around all the tank, So the way I see it is that Nobody really crosses path in the tank. <but their behavior changes in time as they become sexually mature. The angel in particular. They often become extremely(!) aggressive! For this and other reasons, we need to have a longer view of tank stocking. Just like owning a dog and planning for a 10-20 year lifespan... and not keeping a greyhound in an apartment, e.g.> Also, If I move the yellow tang would it be unwise to add a  Naso tang. <very... the fish has no place in this tank. They need more swimming room as adults than many other fishes. A 6' long tank just wont cut it> Forgot a little detail too, heheh, I am upgrading in a year or 2 max. to a 500 to 600 custom acrylic tank. <everyone dreams and says this... and I hope it happens for you too my friend. But we must be responsible and conscientious aquarists and not take fishes into out care that we cannot provide for their full lifespan now. Life happens bud... bills, school, work changes, moving, etc... many expenses that can/will delay your $10K+ super tank dream setup. We see this week after week> Thanks again guys and your website is exploding with excellent info. Derik <and thank you for being so receptive/open minded about the strict advice... you will go far my friend. Best of luck/life to you :) Anthony?

Commerson Angler keeping 10/26/04 Well I am building a house in the spring and All my equipment has been focused  on this dream tank. <very fine... but please do recognize how impatient if not inappropriate it is to buy livestock before you have a proper housing for them> The basement is already all planned for this tank, in wall with a room behind it. I actually got the approval from my other half for the tank, as long as I don't get an eel, she thinks there creepy. I am building my self and my dad the house so I will save big bucks...and that when the tank comes in. <cool> Anyhow back to the main subject. I thought so about the Naso but like the confirmation from the real guys. <ah... good to hear :)> Basically at this stage is there any other options for me, fish wise, or something else. <hmmm... I'd be steering you wrong with a recommendation for another fish as long as they are limited to this tank. Again... patience my friend>< I really want to add the last special friend in there. I do have all the good equipment to take care of those fish, <this is all about swimming space, not hardware> I just bought a LifeReef skimmer, Wavemaker, U.V light,5 maxi jet 1200, ORP, ph, salinity, temp monitors, refractometers, t5 lights, phosphate reactor with Rowaphos for media, Fluval 404 for carbon once every other week for 3 days,  water changes every 2 weeks, and a refugium on the way. thanks  Anthony <best of luck/life. Anthony

- Warty Frogfish - Hello Everybody, You guys are the best! I am considering getting a Warty Frogfish, and I am hoping that you may be able to aid me in my decision. I have a 29 gal right now, but I am upgrading to a 55 in two months. I currently have: 2 Maroon Clowns 2 Turbo snails 1 Chocolate Chip Star 1 Pencil Urchin 1 Cleaner Shrimp 25 lbs of LR I don't want to add a frogfish until after I have moved to the 55. Are the Maroons going to get along with the frogfish? <A better question would be how long will the clownfish last around the frogfish.> Is the frogfish going to eat the Maroons, or anything else for that matter? <Very likely that it would eat the clownfish - frogfish are really just giant mouths with a fish body attached, quite capable of eating fish their size.> Should I put the frogfish in the 55 before the maroons, since the Maroons can be territorial and aggressive? <I'd consider keeping the frogfish all by itself.> Should I even attempt getting the frogfish? <Sure... just keep in mind that its not a good community member.> Thanks in advance, I will appreciate any advice you can give me. Tate
<Cheers, J -- >

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